I’ve followed and tasted TCHO since they started with their “Beta” versions of their chocolate. They say many things on their website and in their marketing and have a lot of smooth talk.
- “TCHO is where technology meets chocolate; where Silicon Valley start-up meets San Francisco food culture.”
- “TCHO is obsessively good dark chocolate.”
At the 2011 San Francisco NASFT Fancy Food Show I stopped by the booth and sampled the cacao nibs. They were disgusting. The flavors were overwhelming and just plain gross. Bitter. Sour. Dirty. Nasty. My eyes snapped shut, my face contorted and I reeled in discomfort. I bee-lined for something to cleanse my palate and wash away the horrible flavors in my mouth.
I also tried their chocolate again recently. Yes, I am a glutton for punishment. It has a sharp snap and didn’t melt well. It sat on my tongue begging me to chew. When I finally did chew, it sounded like I was eating potato chips. The flavors are decent, but nothing to make me say Wo_oW or make my tongue dance.
- “Chocolatey” has a roasted, dry taste which boarders on dry dirt.
“Fruity” is bright, but a little too fruity with a sour note at the end that didn’t sit well with me.
“Nutty” was more mellow and offered roasted notes of nuts and coffee. Nutty was probably my favorite.
For all of their obsessiveness, TCHO really lags behind many of the other bean-to-bar makers. Amano Chocolate, Askinosie Chocolate, Rogue Chocolatier, Claudio Corallo and Original Beans all make such superior chocolate with much fewer resources at their disposal. Guess you need more than money to make good chocolate, huh?
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